Published by HarperTeen on May 31st 2011
How do you defy DESTINY?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is - no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood... and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together - and trying to tear them apart.
I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but there’s just something extra special I find about books when they take place in my home state, Massachusetts. Somehow I just feel closer to the story. Maybe it feels more real to me because it’s easier to picture the setting. Or perhaps because I’ve lived close to Nantucket at one point; I’ve got a new-found sense of hope that something amazing could happen to me as well, such as an incredibly gorgeous, European family moving into my small town and in the process causing some hidden abilities I didn’t realize I had, to break the surface. Hah! Well. Not likely. Starcrossed has just created another lavish daydream. Besides, I’d be crazy to want to be part of the chaos that Helen has to deal with. It’s bad enough that she’s developed an uncontrollable anger and violent tendency towards the Delos family, that plus new, uncontrollable abilities and a series of crazy woman who keep attacking her makes my life look amazing. Although if it meant meeting someone as delicious as Lucas, I’d seriously reconsider…
To be brutally honest, I wasn’t too sure about Starcrossed in the beginning. Although it’s cover was breathtaking, it came from HarperTeen which tends to publish amazing books, and many friends recommended it, there was just something about the synopsis that didn’t quite perk my interest. You could tell right away that Greek themes were going to play a huge part in the plot which I found a little worrisome. I feel like a lot of books (too many) these days, use the same-old-same-old Greek themes and ideas, not bothering to spice up the plot. Which unfortunately has led to a series of so-so books. Because of this, I feel like I slowly and carefully eased into this book, afraid that after finishing I might be thrown down another book slumping spiral. However, much like Helen’s awesome aero-ability, Starcrossed hit my highest expectation and kept on flying higher. In all the YA books I’ve come across, this is the first time I’ve seen the Iliad used in such a new and exciting way. It didn’t merely incorporate the Iliad into the plot, it twisted and enhanced what we know/think we know and transformed it into a new and captivating story. Helen and Paris may be part of a legendary love story but their prophetic love pales in comparison to the intense and all-consuming emotion between Helen and Lucas. We’re talking hot, hot, HOT. This duo’s chemistry is sizzling which of course makes the fact that they can barely be near each other without the intense need to kill one another, utterly unbearable for both the characters and readers.
Starcrossed has a sleuth of awesome characters. Although she doesn’t necessarily blow me away, Helen is a pretty likable character. She has a lot of shy tendencies and doesn’t like confrontations. However deep down there’s a part of her that is extremely tough. It’s pretty much just always been Helen and her father, Jerry, due to her mother running off when she was younger. Although Helen’s father is extremely loving and caring, you get the sense that Helen is more of the pillar-like character, supporting her father. Helen’s also got a crazy and mad-funny best friend named Claire also referred to as “giggles” and “five-two” due to her petite-Asian size. Claire is definitely one my favorite characters in the book. I’d love to have a good friend like Claire, besides being extremely caring and hilarious she’s fiercely protective of Helen. She may be itty-bitty, but I’d definitely not want to pick a fight with her. Among others, there’s also the Delos family which include some gorgeous, tan, and muscular boys, Hector, Jason, and of course Lucas. They alone enticed be to plunge further into the story.
Although part of me was desperate to finally “figure it all out” I just couldn’t get into the story at first. I give Starcrossed 4 out of 5 stars because I was nearly halfway through the book before I couldn’t bare to be parted with it. At that point you’d have to “pry it out of my cold dead fingers”. However, once the story hit this breaking point I was completely enamored. The second half of the book’s pacing was spot-on. There was plenty of action, character developments, and juicy dialogue that left you wanting. If book two follows this same procedure I’m sure, without a doubt that I’ll be giving it 5 stars.